REGNUM editorial director arrested in Moscow

REGNUM editorial director arrested in Moscow
Yuri Baranchik

The editorial office believes that Baranchik has been arrested following a request from the Belarusian authorities.

Yuri Baranchik, a Belarusian citizen and editorial director of REGNUM, has been arrested in Moscow, the web site of the news agency reports.

Currently he remains in the Department of Internal Affairs of the Dorogomilovsky District. The head of the police station front office has denied access for the lawyer retained by REGNUM News Agency to the detainee.

The editorial office believes that Baranchik has been arrested following a request from the Belarusian authorities who “pursue political repression against authors and personnel of the agency since December 2016 on evidence-free accusations of “incitement of ethnic hatred” punishable by up to 12 years behind bars”.

In the end of the last year, three columnists of Russian online news outlets – REGNUM, Lenta.ru, and EADaily – had been brought to a police station, Govorit Moskva (Moscow Speaks) radio station reports. According to the investigation, they were writing biased chauvinistic articles and received payment from editorial director Baranchik.

According to Modest Kolerov, the Editor-in-Chief of REGNUM News Agency, the authorities intend to escort Baranchik to Belarus where his three colleagues currently remain under investigation for “incitement of ethnic hatred”.

The General Administration of the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA) of the Russian Federation in the City of Moscow has confirmed that Baranchik, detained in Moscow following a request from Belarus, would be extradited to Minsk – the initiator of searches for the fugitive, Interfax reports. Yuri Baranchik is on the wanted list in Belarus that has issued an arrest warrant against him in absentia. After the arrest in Moscow, he will be transferred to the initiator of searches, MIA representatives explained.

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